Queensland eyes AR to help understand development impact

Queensland’s planning department believes augmented reality could help the community better understand the impact of proposed developments

An augmented reality app might help Queensland communities better understand the impact of proposed property developments.

Currently, property developers in the state need to place a sign on a block being developed, publish a notice in a newspaper and notify neighbouring property owners.

However, Queensland’s Department of State Development Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning (DSDMIP) is looking at whether AR might improve the pre-development consultation process by giving a better sense of what a new structure is expected to look like. AR could be used to depict a building in the actual location it's going to be built, using a mobile app.

The department is currently inviting offers from companies to develop a prototype AR solution that will be used to assess the potential of the technology.

“Development applications often contain more than 300 pages of text, plans and drawings,” an invitation to offer document released by the department states.

“This information is publicly available, but the websites are often difficult to find and navigate. When application material is located the community can feel overwhelmed by the information, both in terms of volume and in the complexity of the technical content,” it adds.

“Development applications also rarely provide sufficient context for how the development will integrate with the streetscape and neighbouring properties. This can result in confusion within the community about how the development might impact them or the interests they care about.”

An AR solution could potentially improve understanding of the impact of a proposed development, as well as reduce incorrect assessment assumptions and unnecessary application challenges, the department said. It could also improve transparency and community engagement, the document adds.

The department has already conducted a user-group workshop that produced a collection of user stories.

The department wants a prototype that provides a “working, interactive model of a potential end product”. “The prototype will be used to test and determine if the solution has potential to be further developed into a fully functioning product,” the document states. The prototype will determine whether the project continues to the next stage.

The department said it wants a cost-effective, accessible and user-friendly system that supports iOS, Windows and Android devices.

It also wants the system to be easy to operate from the perspective of its personnel, with minimal technical support required for uploading documents.

The department is seeking 10cm accuracy when it comes to positioning the depiction of a proposed development within an app, and the app should show the “realistic impact” of the proposal.

The department said it hopes to be able to demonstrate the prototype by late March.

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Tags queenslandqueensland governmentaugmented reality (AR)

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